17 Things to Do While Visiting Placencia Belize

Posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

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Should you stay on mainland Belize or one of the islands? Do both by vacationing on the Placencia peninsula. Find 16 miles of beach, a lush lagoon surrounded by mountains plus access to the Caribbean Sea if you stay at one of Placencia’s coziest resorts, Chabil Mar. With their help making arrangements, the following 17 ideas should just get you started.

1. Meet the people. Placencia residents have deep roots: English, Spanish, and Mayan, to name a few. They’re charming, helpful, eager and happy to introduce their communities, so walk about and get the lay of the land.

2. Rent a beach cruiser bike. It will take you further than your feet along beautiful landscape and vistas that amaze and inspire. Placencia was once a fishing village; you’ll spots lots of era reminders as you ride.

3. Meet the Garifuna people in Seine Bight. Learn about their lifestyle through their art, music, folklore and cuisine, and you won’t leave hungry!

4. Request a dive day tailored to your specific interests by asking Chabil Mar staff to explain your trip options. The reef is just 17 miles away; spot tropical fish species so vivid, the colors don’t seem real.

5. Go whale shark spotting when there’s a full moon if you visit between April and June or dive with these gentle creatures near the Gladden Spit if you’re looking to prove your prowess.

6. Try your hand at kayaking around Laughing Bird Caye. Pitch a tent here overnight for full access to the water day and night.

7. Ask Chabil Mar staff to book a 36-foot catamaran adventure that includes either diving or deep sea fishing. Even lunches are brought on board so you don’t starve.

8. Dine at a private restaurant. Placencia families set up little home restaurants on patios that stretch along a path between the lagoon and the beach. Order the specialty of the house: stewed chicken with rice and beans.

9. Make a wildlife pilgrimage to the Placencia lagoon. This unique breeding ground hosts endangered manatees, crocodile species, marine turtles and some types of rays within this nutrient-rich wetland.

10. Your Chabil Mar concierge will be happy to arrange a Monkey River Tour that includes sailing into lush jungle to spot turtles, fish, iguanas and other local wildlife.

11. Visit Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary where jaguar, jaguarondi, margay, ocelot and puma—all five indigenous cats—roam the protected 128,000-acre jungle preserve.

12. Go bird watching, whether you’re a fan of the hobby or not. There are around 300 species in all, some not seen elsewhere in the hemisphere, like the brilliant Scarlet Macaw.

13. Climb a mountain or just stay at the base to observe water crashing to earth from some of Belize’s most photogenic waterfalls. You’ll be inspired.

14. Get wet riding a rubber inner tube while cave tubing, a sport that’s relaxing and exciting if you float into caves with prehistoric-looking interiors that also hold Mayan artifacts.

15. Take photos. Placencia sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, as are the jungles, wildlife preserves and natural wonders that never met a camera they couldn’t seduce.

16. Visit the Creole village of Independence by ferry to stroll fruit plantations. If you’re in town for Valentine’s Day, don’t miss the 50-artist Placencia Peninsula Arts Festival on Main Street.

17. Grab a map and see Placencia by bicycle. Where to get the map and the bike? From your friends at Chabil Mar. They’re so helpful, they might ride that bike to your room if you ask them to!

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Placencia and Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

Why Choose Belize Over Other Destinations? Because You’re Smart!

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2015

11831636_496616263830646_4145348460693996977_nIf you already love Belize, breaking into a happy dance each time you book a trip south is likely ordinary behavior, but this is no ordinary destination. Unlike neighboring countries, you won’t need translators to tell you what people are saying, you won’t spend half of your vacation in a van because excellent attractions are in such close proximity, and because Belize is so culturally diverse, it’s the quintessential Central American melting pot. Why choose Belize over other places? Start with these eight reasons…

Belize is manageable. It’s small enough to get everywhere you want to go in reasonable amounts of time so you’ll never find yourself comparing travel notes with friends who admit that their vacations turned out to be one long bus or vehicle ride interspersed by too-short stops at the attractions they paid to visit. Stay in Placencia Village for the most intense Belize experience because everything you seek is nearby.

Belize is culturally diverse. Only the United Nations hosts so many different nationalities! Visit and you’ll run into Mestizos, Garifunas, Mayans, Europeans, North American ex-pats, Chinese emigres, German Mennonites and if you look closer, you’ll identify many more nationalities. Given such a mix of cultures, is it any wonder Belize is called the “only true Central American Caribbean nation”?

Belize is an English-speaking country. The music is exotic. The food is ethnically diverse. But when push comes to shove and you must communicate about important matters like passports, directions, restaurants and the best places to stay, saying it in English saves time and it could save money, too. That said, you’ll be charmed by diverse accents, dialects and quaint word inflections during your visit.

Belize operates on the U.S. dollar. If you recall being told it costs 5,000 Lira to buy a glass of wine in Italy or 1,000 Francs for dinner in Paris you probably welcomed the Euro so you could travel without a calculator. Visit Belize and you won’t even have to engage your brain because U.S. dollars are welcome everywhere you go and the conversion rate is simple: $1 USD equals $2 BZD.

Belize will feed you too well. This is not the place to come and knock off pounds, unless, of course, you intend to try every active sport available and stick to fish and produce. Truth is, you’ll be spoiled by the diversity of the cuisine. Expect to find Chinese, ethnic Belizean, Spanish, Mayan and other ethnic choices, particularly in Placencia.

Belize exists between yesterday and tomorrow. Cutting edge ecological projects, green initiatives, wildlife habitats and eco-friendly lodgings thrive in a country that prioritizes respect for Planet Earth, but much of the past is ever present at Mayan ruin sites like Altun Ha, Xunantunich, Lamanai and Caracol. Book your Belize vacation at Chabil Mar  and ask team members to arrange day trips to these popular destinations.

Belize natural attractions can’t be surpassed. Explore caves and rivers, visit wildlife sanctuaries, photograph waterfalls, zip line, rappel, bird watch, dive, snorkel, fish, raft, ride horses and explore rainforests. There’s more, but if you’re in Placencia Village to relax, Chabil Mar staff is more than happy to make suggestions and handle all aspects of your itinerary.

Belize is a happening place! Stay on the mainland shore to be close to the airport or choose the tranquility and amenities of a destination like Placencia. Book your Chabil Mar accommodations, share your preferences with staff for the good life on the beach, the excitement of Placencia Village or some of each, and you won’t have to make another decision during your stay.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

 

Establish Your Zipline Credentials While Visiting Southern Belize

Posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2015

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Dreams come true for those eager to zipline rainforest canopies, which is why the popularity of this experience alone brings many people to Belize. Select Chabil Mar  as your base and enjoy some peace and tranquility before you test your mettle at any of the extreme sport trips Chabil Mar offers.

Just in case someone asks, here’s a little history to pass along: Alberto Santos-Dumont invented the zipline rig in 1906 to help transport goods over long distances and unforgiving terrains, but these days, if you look up, you’ll see guys and girls zipping by instead of boxes and bags. To make sure your Chabil Mar visit includes all the thrills you seek, ask your hosts to book one or all of these excursions during your stay:

-The Bocawina Zipline Experience invites you to see what it’s like to tackle the longest zip line distance in Belize, but only if you’re up for the challenge. If not, there are eight shorter runs interspersed by 12 platforms that provide opportunities for you to catch your breath and decide if you’d like to keep going. Gather bragging rights as you traverse 2.5 miles in total, but it’s the 2,300-foot single run that offers the most exciting memories.

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-Go night flying at Bocawina. If you thought only bats owned the night, join these nocturnal creatures by requesting a zipline ride that won’t start until after the sun goes down and the stars come out. The jungle at night is a magical place filled with sights and sounds visitors miss during the day, so if your heart is healthy, you need an adrenaline rush—and particularly if the moon is full—don’t leave Belize without taking this excursion under the tutelage of guides who know the ins and outs of this fun experience.

-Rappel Bocawina Falls. The place that sent your heart racing as you zipped along at top speed is also a neighbor of one of Belize’s top rapelling locations: Bocawina Falls. Whether this is your first or your fifth repelling attempt, the jump will be unique as you drop 100-feet into the abyss in synch with waterfalls, landing in the beautiful pools at the base. You’ve earned swim or float time in these lush pools to celebrate your rappelling accomplishment.

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-Rappel Antelope Falls. Are you eager to try the biggest challenge of all? Take a literal leap of faith by repelling down a waterfall that’s 1,000 feet high. If you plan to do this alone, your tour guide will arrange for a partner since the minimum number of participants for this activity is two. Not quite ready to attempt this height? Try the 500-foot drop first to be sure you’re ready for the big one. In either case, you’ll be escorted every step of the way by licensed guides, so put yourself into their hands for the time of your life.

This menu of adventures is not for the faint of heart, but it’s likely to offer the biggest and most thrilling vacation highlights if adrenaline rushes are your thing. Just in case you’re super-charged and have no desire to hit the beach, Chabil Mar is happy to arrange for bird watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, nature and archaeological tours.

Nobody goes hungry on these excursions, by the way. From Chabil Mar’s onsite restaurant to picnics packed for your day trips, no detail is ignored. After this much adventure, Chabil Mar will be happy to deliver you to your return flight both blissed out and eager to return.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

27 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Belize

Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2015

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Here are 27 quirky facts that many travelers to Belize are not aware of.

1. The official language of Belize is English.
2. Most Belizeans are trilingual and Spanish and Kriol are also widely spoken in the country.
3. Belize was once home to over 1 million Maya people.
4. Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the country.
5. If Belizean food is what you like, then don’t miss trying the traditional Belizean rice and beans.
6. Placencia, the captivating Peninsula of Southern Belize, offers a tropical paradise with everything from sun-kissed beaches to awe-inspiring diving sites. Arguably, Placencia is one of the most visited vacation spots in Belize.
7. After the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Belize stands second in the world with its longest reef featuring an abundant of marine life.
8. Belize is home to traditional Mennonites.
9. Belize has acres of pristine coastline featuring white sandy beaches and beautiful offshore islands. Laughing Bird Caye and South Water Caye are two such destinations.
10. Belize’s tropical setting is an ideal habitat for birds, and the country boasts over 300 species of native birds.
11. One of the famous dishes in Belize is made from Gibnut meat. This was the dish presented to Queen Elizabeth during her first visit to this country.
12. Belize’s jungle is home to wild cats, including jaguars and ocelots.
13. Apart from its historic archeological sites, Belize is known for its scuba diving sites. The Blue Hole, one of the world’s most popular sinkhole, is one famous dive site here.
14. Belize received its Independence from Great Britain on 21st September, 1981.
15. Unlike any urban city with high-rises, Belize is blessed with lush nature, acres of rainforest, and the tallest building in the country is Canna Temple, a Maya pyramid at Caracol.
16. Belize is home to many luxury resorts and jungle lodges. However, there are not many all-inclusive branded resorts here.
17. Belize’s size is close to that of New Hampshire in area wise. With a population just over 350,000, the country is one of the sparsely populated nations in the world.
18. Belizeans do use a number of funny Creole phrases such as the ‘Sleeping Policeman’ term for speed breakers.
19. Belizeans love ketchup with their fried chicken instead of hot sauce.
20. Belizeans eat the Marie Sharp hot sauce with almost everything.
21. No time to exchange money? You can use US dollars anywhere in Belize.
22. The locals here love the Punta Rock music.
23. Belize is one of the world’s top destinations for a wedding or honeymoon vacation.
24. Belizeans make some finest handmade chocolates from locally grown cocoa.
25. You will be surprised to find a jaguar crossing sign on the highway.
26. Fry jacks is a favorite breakfast of Belizeans.
27. Belize is home to the world’s loudest creature: the Black Howler Monkey.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

There’s a Place in Paradise Reserved Just for You

Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

belize island vacationsWere you forced to read 17th-century English poet John Milton’s legendary “Paradise Lost” in school? We feel your pain. The original work included over 10,000 lines of verse—an arduous retelling of the Adam and Eve story–and we all know how that relationship worked out, right? We invoke this masterwork to remind you that anyone whose paradise has been lost can find it immediately by visiting Belize because this nation is truly unique. Too bad Milton never had a chance to visit or his poem might have had a happier ending!

If you’re seeking a double dose of paradise, consider a barefoot luxury getaway consisting of not one but two Belize resorts offering the good life: Chabil Mar Villas in the village of Placencia and Hatchet Caye Resort. For seven nights of pure pleasure, divide your time between the two and expect the staff to show you what it’s like to live like a celebrity at both places.

While at Chabil Mar, an exclusive boutique resort on the Caribbean Sea, unwind, relax and get serious about restoring your equilibrium in an environment that’s a true respite from civilization. As the closest full service resort to Placencia, you can choose to do nothing but roam resort grounds and dine at the gourmet restaurant if you need rest or book jungle adventures, explore ancient ruins and stay active until the minute you depart.

You may wish to save your down time for your second stay at Hatchet Caye Resort, a pristine tropical island that begs visitors to wind down and practice the Zen of Belize. This setting is the definition of unspoiled—a private island at the edge of Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve where nearly a mile of desolate shoreline awaits. Need more? Your hosts will hook you up with world-class fishing and scuba diving.

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Take advantage of this unprecedented, affordable two-destination package and you won’t just find paradise in terms of beauty, pampering and activities; amenities at both resorts are bountiful. From ground, in-country air and sea transport to taxes, service fees and meals, no detail is spared at either destination. Your four nights at Chabil Mar includes three tours, complimentary champagne, golfing, bicycles and kayaks, a massage and close proximity to Placencia nightlife.

All meals await at Hatchet Caye Resort—including a romantic beach picnic served with wine–where your private beach cabana makes the ideal hideaway when you’re not piloting complimentary pedal boats, Hobie Cats or kayaks. Alternately, limit your activities to the guided snorkeling trip included with this package.

Sure, you can add more tours, adventures and experiences to your itinerary, but why would you want to when this gem of a package was designed to literally re-set your internal compass and remind you that while the world spins at a dizzying pace, there are still paradises like Belize that exist to help you reclaim your balance, get in touch with things that matter and recall a time when life was simple and sweet?

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize island vacation.